Wildlife - Echidna on Kangaroo Island - Credit: SATC/Milton Wordley

Make an Enquiry with Outback Encounter

GO

Sign up for our Newsletter

 

GO

Receive a copy of our
latest Brochure

GO

Tell a friend about
Outback Encounter

GO

Buy our
Book

GO

Echidna

  • SUMMARY

The echidnas are named after a monster in ancient Greek mythology and are also known as "spiny anteaters." They live in New Guinea and Australia and are described as small mammals that are covered with coarse hair and spines. Superficially they resemble other spiny mammals like hedgehogs and porcupines. They have snouts which have the functions of both the mouth and nose. Their snouts are elongated and slender. They have very short, strong limbs with large claws and are powerful diggers. Echidnas have a tiny mouth and a toothless jaw. The Short-beaked Echidna's diet consists largely of ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species typically eat worms and insect larvae.Along with the Platypus, are the only egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes. The female lays a single soft-shelled, leathery egg twenty-two days after mating and deposits it directly into her pouch. Hatching takes ten days; the young echidna, called a puggle, remains in the pouch for forty-five to fifty-five days, at which time it starts to develop spines. The mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the puggle, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months.